Quitlines are toll-free telephone numbers staffed by counselors that provide or refer callers to tobacco
cessation services. Quitlines are often implemented at the state level and some states offer community-based
quitlines or refer callers to community resources. Quitlines
are effective in increasing tobacco cessation among interested participants and recommended by the
Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF).
The Community Guide notes that three interventions are successful in increasing the use of quitlines:
Promotion through mass-reach health communications campaigns. Rural communities often
promote quitlines through mass-reach tobacco cessation media campaigns. For example, the Alaska Tobacco Quitline has developed several videos that advertise their
services, including messages from Quit Coaches and tobacco prevention ads that encourage users to
call the quitline.
Provision of tobacco cessation medications, such as nicotine-replacement therapies. Several
quitlines provide tobacco cessation medications at no or reduced cost to clients in rural communities. For
example, the Nevada Tobacco Quitline offers free nicotine
replacement therapy, including nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges, to eligible callers. 802Quits,
the tobacco cessation service offered by the Vermont Department of Health Tobacco Control Program, mails
free nicotine replacement therapies to eligible callers. The North American Quitline Consortium lists all
the state quitlines that offer free and discounted
Referral interventions for healthcare providers and organizations. The majority of state
quitlines, including Colorado,
Pennsylvania, and New York, have
developed fax-to-quit referral forms for providers. Many also provide e-referral services that allow
providers to complete an online form. The North American Quitline Consortium has developed a map that provides a quitline profile for
each state, which lists information about their provider referral programs.
Examples of Quitline Interventions
Several states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Montana, Pennsylvania, and
Wyoming, offer American Indians/Native Americans access to tailored tobacco cessation services through
the American Indian Commercial Tobacco
Program. This program features a quitline where callers receive tobacco cessation
counseling from American Indian/Alaska Native coaches. Eligible callers can also receive free nicotine
patches, gum, or lozenges.
North American Quitline Consortium
provides information about quitlines across the United States, including quitline webpages and contact
information for program coordinators.
Helping Alaskans Quit is a training that
describes Alaska's Tobacco Quit Line. It also focuses on the brief tobacco intervention, shows
provider demonstrations, and offers information about referral resources. The training shows video
demonstrations of the brief tobacco intervention delivered in different types of healthcare settings
by the family practice provider, substance abuse counselor, inpatient treatment provider, dentist,
community health aide, and pharmacist. The
training also includes information about the pharmacotherapy options available for people who use
Considerations for Implementation
State quitlines may need to offer training on community-specific cultural factors that affect
tobacco use. In addition, some state quitlines, like the Hawaii
Quitline, also promote community
quitlines and cessation services for tobacco users who prefer to use a local program.
While many quitlines offer a fax-to-quit referral program, this system may pose barriers for
providers who do not have sufficient time to complete paper referrals. E-referrals using
electronic health records can help to address this barrier and increase
the rate of referrals. For example, the Indiana Rural
Health Association used a grant from the Indiana State Department of Health to implement a health
information exchange technology platform in rural hospitals and clinics that enables primary care providers to
refer their patients to the state's tobacco quitline. The North American Quitline Consortium offers a
guide for healthcare providers and systems that are seeking to implement e-referrals using electronic
Program Clearinghouse Examples
Resources to Learn More
for Implementing eReferral Using Certified EHRs
This guide provides recommendations to healthcare systems about implementing e-referrals to tobacco
cessation services, especially quitlines, through electronic health records.
Organization(s): North American Quitline Consortium
The North American Quitline Consortium
The North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) is a crucial resource for state governments. The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention funds NAQC to provide technical assistance to state tobacco control programs
in order to help improve the scope and sustainability of their quitlines.